Title: RINNING WITH SCISSORS
Author: AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS
This was a very bizarre read.
If it had been fiction, I would probably have thrown the book accross the room for being too over the top. But it's not fiction, it all really happened and it's a miracle that not only did Augusten survive his teenage years, he survived to write about it with detachment and a sense of humour.
When Augusten is a child his alcoholic father and crazy mother constantly fight, while his older brother moves out as soon as he can.
By the time Augusten is in his early teens, his father has left to cut all ties with his ex-wife and son, and his mother is getting ever more obsessive and crazy.
So much so that Augusten finds himself living with his mother's psychiatrist, Dr. Finch, and his family, in what has to be the most dysfunctional family possible.
Because Dr. Finch believes that kids are adults as soon as they become teenagers, Augusten and the Finch kids are free to do as they please, while they're given prescription drugs as if they were sweets.
For Augusten this means drinking alcohol, smoking (both cigarettes and joints), dropping out of school and starting a gay relationship with a man more than twice his age, all by the time he reaches the age of 13.
Reviewers called this book funny, despite it's dysfunction. I didn't get whatever was supposed to be funny, but did find it compelling reading, out of sheer disbelieve and the need to know how the by Augusten survived.
I'm not sure that I would recommend this book to anyone though, unless I knew them and their sensibilities very well.